mice

pocket mouse

Any of about 30 species of nocturnal North American rodents constituting the genus Perognathus (family Heteromyidae), having fur-lined, external cheek pouches that open alongside the mouth. Pocket mice are yellowish brown to dark gray and are 2.5–5 in. (6–13 cm) long, excluding a tail of about the same length. They are usually solitary and inhabit dry and desert regions. They carry food (mainly seeds) in their pouches and store it in their burrows. Spiny pocket mice (most in the genera Liomys and Heteromys; family Heteromyidae), found from Mexico through Central America, are gray, brown, or black nocturnal burrowers that inhabit wet, forested regions as well as dry country.

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House mouse (Mus musculus).

Any of many species (family Muridae) of small, scampering rodents. They are distinguished from rats principally by their smaller size. Mice are basically Asian in origin, but species have been introduced worldwide. Species in other rodent families (e.g., deer mouse, pocket mouse) are called mice without scientific basis. Mice eat grains, roots, fruit, grass, and insects. They can become pests but are mostly beneficial; they are the main prey of most furbearers and of predators that might otherwise take more valuable prey. The white laboratory mouse is a form of house mouse. Seealso field mouse.

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Common mouse species (Mus musculus, family Muridae), the mouse most often encountered in buildings. The house mouse has been distributed by humans from Eurasia to all inhabited areas of the world and usually seeks shelter and food in human dwellings. Brown or gray, it grows up to 8 in. (20 cm) long, including a 4-in. (10-cm) tail. It consumes almost anything edible, even sampling soap, paste, and glue. It matures quickly and is ready to mate two to three months after birth. In warm areas or heated buildings, it breeds throughout the year.

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or wood mouse

In general, any mouse that normally lives in fields; more strictly, any of about seven species of small, long-tailed mice in the genus Apodemus (family Muridae). Field mice in this genus are found in fields, woodlands, and mountain meadows in the warm and temperate parts of Eurasia. They are grayish or light or reddish brown and are 2–5 in. (6–12 cm) long excluding the tail. They generally live in burrows and build nests of grass and other plants. They eat seeds, roots, and other plant material, occasionally damaging crops or young trees.

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or white-footed mouse

Any of about 60 species (genus Peromyscus, family Cricetidae) of small, delicate rodents that are active at night and are found in habitats from Alaska to South America. They often outnumber all other mammals in an area. Deer mice are 3–6.5 in. (8–17 cm) long (excluding the long tail) and have large eyes, soft fur, and relatively large ears. Colours range from white to brown or blackish, with white underparts and feet. They eat plant and animal matter and nest in burrows or trees. Clean, easily cared for, and prolific, they are often used as laboratory animals.

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